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Brazil's ex-president intends to run for office again

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told reporters he had asked the Workers' Party for an opportunity to become its presidential candidate

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 13. /TASS/. Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said a press conference on Thursday he plans running for the presidential office despite the guilty verdict a court passed on him on the previous day.

"If some people think this sentence will push me off the political career, they are mistaken," he said. "I'm asking the Workers' Party to grant me an opportunity to become its candidate for presidency."

He said the guilty verdict offered a graphic instance of the norms of democracy being thrown into the garbage can.

"I was confident the results would be precisely in this vein because these people didn’t care about what I was saying (to defend himself - TASS)," Lula da Silva said. "They already had a verdict on me ready."

He repeated several times the true objective of the verdict was to push him out of the game and to bar his participation in the 2018 presidential election.

On July 12, a Brazilian court sentenced Lula da Silva to nine years and six months in jail upon recognizing him guilty of corruption and money laundering. The judge also prohibited the o occupation of elected offices by him over a period of 19 years.

The passing of the sentenced does not mean, however, that Lula da Silva will be taken to custody any time soon. Brazilian law says in case of filing an appeal a defendant can stay free until the court of the second instance confirms his or her guilt.

Consideration of an appeal may take up several months.

Apart from the case, a verdict in which was passed on Wednesday, Lula da Silva is featured in another four criminal cases related to corruption. If the court of the second instance reaffirms his guilt in at least one case, he will lose the right to run for any elected offices.

A recent opinion poll showed 29% to 30% Brazilians are prepared to vote for Lula da Silva - more than for any other politician at present.